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FAQs

We have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, which might be useful in the first instance. Remember, we are always happy to hear from you if you would prefer to talk to us personally.

We are predominantly concerned with helping people financially who are serving or ex-serving Royal Naval ratings or Royal Marines other ranks, including Reservists, or their dependants who are in need, or who are facing a time of crisis. If this is you, our Grants team would be happy to consider an application forwarded on your behalf.

Most of our cases are referred to us by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA tel: 0800 7314880) or the Royal British Legion (RBL tel: 0808 802 8080) and you can contact them online at www.ssafa.org.uk or www.britishlegion.org.uk (link opens in new window).

A representative from SSAFA/RBL will visit you to talk about your particular case to potentially make an application to us and other agencies on your behalf. If you’re still a serving Royal Naval rating or Royal Marine or Reservist you can apply through the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Welfare (RNRMW).

Our Grants administrators can now almonise up to £600 upon receipt of cases and the Grants Committee meet on a Thursday to review applications. You will be informed of their decisions and any funds would be released normally within days of their meeting; it’s a very fast procedure of which we are justifiably proud!

We only have one residential/nursing home, Pembroke House in Gillingham, near Chatham, Kent, but the The Royal British Legion (www.britishlegion.org or helpline 08457 725 725) can give you contact details of all homes for former Service Personnel.

Yes, please apply for assistance in the normal fashion using Form A.

It does depend on your individual circumstances. If you have a need, or sudden crisis, which is beyond your means then the Grants Committee will always consider your application. It goes without saying however, that if using your savings could resolve the problem without causing other difficulties then the Committee would be unlikely to provide assistance.

As long as the application is made by the appropriate person who has responsibility for the funeral then yes. We would, of course, expect any insurances and estate to be used predominantly to cover the costs along with any grant from the State Social Fund. Your application should be accompanied by a copy of the Funeral Account and a statement from the Department of Works and Pensions regarding the State Social Fund grant. Please be aware that our grants won’t be given to cover costs of press announcements, memorials, organists, catering etc.

We don’t normally help with debts unless we’re sure that a sensible plan has been drawn up to stop any further debts being accumulated and to pay off the existing ones. The Seafarers Advice and Information Line (SAIL): 0800 160 1842sailine.org.uk and Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) run an excellent free debt counselling and money advice service (www.citizensadvice.org.uk, opens in new window) and a report from them will often help support your case for financial help from the RNBT. We may help out with grants towards food and/or utility bills in times of debt crisis.

We help people all over the world. Applications from outside the UK are normally handled by the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (www.commonwealthveterans.org.uk, opens in new window). European claims should be directed to the Royal British Legion or SSAFA.

Our administrative headquarters is at Castaway House in Portsmouth (see our Contact page) along with the WRNS Benevolent Trust, The RN and RM Children’s Fund, Naval and Military Bible Society, the Regular Forces Employment Association, Seafarers UK and Aggies. (www.wrnsbt.org.uk; www.rnrmchildrensfund.org.uk; www.aggies.org.uk; www.nmafbs.org; www.rfea.org.uk; www.seafarers-uk.org each link opens in a new window).

Our grants and Regular Charitable Payments (RCP) are made possible mainly from our investment income, regular funding from other organisations, Greenwich Hospital and The Royal Naval and Royal Marines Charity and from bequests, legacies and welcome donations from individuals and organisations.

We are always very grateful to receive donations both large and small as these help us to continue our much needed work in the naval and ex-naval community. As well as individual donations, we are happy to receive regular donations such as covenants, standing orders etc and details of all of the ways you can make a donation can be found on our Donations and legacies page.

All officers’ enquiries should be made to The Officers’ Association (www.officersassociation.com, link opens in new window). Even if you were promoted from the lower deck, they should still be your first port of call.

We are unable to assist Midshipmen under the terms of the Royal Charter, however, financial support is available through the Officers’ Association (www.officersassociation.com, link opens in new window) who can assist through a grant, kindly provided by Seafarers UK.